TRAVEL SEARCH INTELLIGENCE: PERFORMANCE AMONG DEMOGRAPHIC SEGMENTS

by Kathy Dragon on October 22, 2008

TravelTrends – Travel search intelligence: performance among demographic segments – Compete, Inc.

TravelTrendsTM Weekly travel insights from Compete

By: Jack Drew
September 28, 2008

This is the fourth search-themed travel newsletter this month, highlighting the capabilities of Compete’s Travel Search Intelligence product. This week we focus on the ability of travel marketers, using Compete Travel Search Intelligence, to assess their performance in attracting specific demographic segments through search.

Each month the major online travel agencies fight for hotel search referrals and bookings. Not all searchers are created equal, however, and many marketers are looking to attract only specific customer segments. To highlight Compete’s capabilities in looking at search activity for specific segments, we analyzed Online Travel Agency search performance within a defined demographic group.

Looking specifically at search-driven hotel bookings of high-income women travelers between the ages of 35-44 shows an increasingly competitive Hotwire gaining ground against a steady Expedia and Priceline, while Hotels.com loses ground. While a year ago Hotwire had captured an average of 10% of the search-driven hotel bookings of this demographic, the past few months have seen the brand rise to up to a 30% share in May 2008.

Chart 1


Women’s OTA hotel conversions deriving from a search engine are the result of organic clicks 68% of the time and sponsored clicks for the remaining 32%. The only competitor to rely more heavily upon paid than natural was Hotels.com at 54%.
Chart 2

As online marketers pursue specific consumer segments – either demographic groups, affinity/lifestyle groups, or others – understanding the search behavior of each can give you a competitive edge. The demographic studied above is evidence of how quickly market share shifts can take place. Contact Compete to see how we can help your marketing team ensure it comes out on top in the battle to reach its target traveler segments.

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